Here is the latest update on our ongoing DDP sessions funded through the Adoption Support Fund, you can read about previous sessions by clicking on the DDP category at the bottom of the page.
Today Nick is taking over the blog so I will pass you over to him …
We have had two more appointments since last time we wrote; one without Tom and last week’s with him. When Louise and I had our visit together, Dr. E pointed out that she had noticed how Louise tends to pull back from hugs with Tom when he runs up. This, we concluded, was a response to his tendency to charge in with accidental head butts. We spent some time over the next few days helping him see how running at people might end up in bumps, and he was happy to practice slowing down for his ‘final approach’ for a hug. This paid off when we had family to stay over the weekend, but we still have work to do on respecting personal space!
With Tom’s occasional mealtime issues in mind, Dr. E also suggested finishing a meal with something with a thicker texture. Louise whipped up a banana smoothie, but he wasn’t really interested and we haven’t taken it any further.
Tom had a sleep on the way to his most recent session, which he hadn’t done before and which seemed to help with a more relaxed start to the time. After a while he started banging on the base and shade of a lamp with a pencil, which helped him to stay regulated. When Dr. E asked questions like, “is it hard to think about loving this Mummy?” the rate of banging instantly sped up, so between us we used it as a clue to how he was feeling for a few more questions.
At this point he picked up a puppet he had played with earlier, and ‘the puppet’ began poking angrily into the faces of the three of us. Dr. E asked what would help the puppet feel safe and not cross – Tom replied, “he’s hungry and wants a hug.” When we had fed the puppet some pretend food and Tom had given it a cuddle, both puppet and Tom really settled down and engaged more readily. After more talk about love and Mummy, he cuddled in to Louise and let her rock him and sing a lullaby – he doesn’t often let us baby him in this way.
We learnt this week that both our boys really, really like fireworks! James will very seriously intone “Boom! Boom! F’works!” at the slightest mention, and Tom kept getting out of bed to watch for them from his window. Their incredible excitement at a bonfire night with friends had us pretty nervous, but they both loved it and slept brilliantly all night! I’m not sure we should recommend fireworks as a tool for regulation, but it definitely works for Tom!
In general this last fortnight has been really positive; Tom seems to be making some big leaps in attachment, with lots of talk about ‘my family’ and extra hugs. We have progress.